I love this idea of the body as a trauma archive! This takes us back to memory, and memory-making. Maybe the body is taking responsibility where the mind is not. It’s scrapbooking for us. I think what can be most shameful or embarrassing is when our bodies broadcast a secret we’d prefer no one to know. This is why I hate rashes, in particular face rashes. A face rash says, “Hey people, I’m fucked up inside! And I probably don’t even know why, which is even more embarrassing!” I developed a crazy face rash after I got engaged to a guy I must have known somewhere I should not marry. I hadn’t articulated this to myself, so my face told the world instead.
Heidi Julavits talks about her new novel, The Vanishers, with the Rumpus’s Angela Stubbs